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Spotlight: Slack for Work-Life and Real-Life

By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer & Co-Founder
SpaceIQ

Slack has been ubiquitous in professional circles since its founding in 2009; so much that the communication app has become a verb (Slack me later, if you don’t understand what I mean). The company created an application that combines the best of email, instant messaging, meeting planning, and note taking. Even better, they left out the time-zapping parts—no one starts a Slack message with “I hope this finds you well,” before getting into their real ask.

Over the years, Slack worked with other software companies to create integrations that streamline things like document reviews, room reservations, and performance reviews. At the same time, Slack created its own add-ons that make the platform fun, engaging, and the perfect setting to make new workplace connections.

In early October 2018, Slack hosted its Frontiers conference in New York City. The two-day event featured panels from CEOs, founders, and Slack’s own developers and experience teams. One session focused on the integrations companies use in their Slack channels that bring their teams together beyond project collaboration and communication. Some of these integrations focus on sharing music playlists that get workers through the day; others are for craft beer aficionados. However, one that piqued my interest was the Lunch Train app, which makes planning and coordinating meal-time outings easier while getting people away from their desks. In other words, it helps workers make friends over the optimal setting: a meal.

Slack was originally designed to make workplaces more productive by putting all the traditional applications they use in one place. But as the platform grows, the social component plays a starring role. Initially, I found it interesting that some may need a Slack app to make meaningful connections within their professional circle and, honestly, Lunch Train seemed a little sad on first glance. It conjures the image of a school cafeteria, where cliques form and there is someone sitting alone with their sandwich at the end of the table. But apps like this aren’t meant to weed out loners and bring them together. Instead, it’s a company-sanctioned application that acknowledges a problem so many offices suffer from: there’s too much work to do to warrant a proper lunch break. This head-down mentality limits social interactions within the workplace and, by design, leaves people out.

Socially-minded apps on Slack are abundant and, very likely, are the catalyst for users to create personal Slack groups and channels that bring together friends, family, former colleagues, industry circles, and more. Because Slack makes it easy to bring like-minded groups together—without the incessant buzz of a group text or poor threading of a mass email—people are using the software in the personal lives as much, if not more, than they do at work. In the office, Slack can be used to make friends, whereas at home Slack improves communication between existing relationships.

Partners and married couples find Slack to be a great application for syncing schedules, creating shopping lists, and coordinating childcare, according to Fast Company. Unlike text messages, Slack’s search applications are precise and organized. In a text thread with your partner, for example, travel plans and grocery store purchases are lumped in the same message; whereas in Slack, a channel can be created for individual topics or lists that need to live in separate spaces. In 2016, the Sweden-based company Labs, by Earth People, published an article written by an employee who uses Slack integrations, like Like My iPhone, to stay on-top of what his kids are up to and to coordinate their pick-up and drop-off schedules.

Friend groups are also using Slack (typically the free version, which stores up to 10,000 messages) to coordinate outings and share books, music, and movie recommendations. Specific channels make it easy to jump in and out at your leisure. If your schedule permits, maybe you’ll spend some time in your friends’ travel channel to plan an overseas trip or visit a book club channel for new recommendations. Rather than scrolling through past texts or sending out repeat asks, Slack channels keep everything organized in one, convenient place.

Perhaps it’s the live chat-like design of Slack that allows users to skip introductory niceties, personally or professionally, and immediately get to the reason they logged on in the first place. That saves everyone time. It’s one reason companies now invite clients and vendors onto their Slack accounts. Channels can be private and invitation only, and users can be invited to join a specific channel rather than the entire account. Businesses capitalize on this feature to create restricted accounts so their teams can easily connect—and ditch formalities—with external partners. Additionally, these client- or vendor-specific accounts keep everyone accountable to timelines and give everyone access to track progress through search applications. Restrictions are also useful, personally, for planning surprise parties or, in extreme cases, discussing how to confront a member of the group who may need support beyond their friends.

Slack is great for friends and those in need of some. While the company maintains it’s a professional application and such users are their main focus, it’s thrilled that people are finding a use for what is a professionally unavoidable software in their personal lives as well. In our always-connected culture, it’s still easy to get lost or lose touch. But Slack’s design is keyed into the unpredictability of daily life and makes it easy for users to catch up and stay involved, whether in the office, at the lunch table, or at home.

SpaceIQ and Slack

The integration of SpaceIQ and Slack gives companies the means to give back valuable time to employees—43 hours per person every year. Learn more about how Slack and SpaceIQ help eliminate time-wasting tasks and make workplaces more efficient and productive.

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The Many Benefits of Flexible Work Arrangements

By Reagan Nickl
Enterprise Customer Success Senior Manager
SpaceIQ

Flexible work arrangements have rapidly risen to prominence in offices in recent years thanks to the many benefits they offer. Not only do they meet the demands of facilities working to maximize their useable space effectively, they’re also a cornerstone of culture-focused companies.

But why the rapid rise in more accommodating work environments? What are the benefits of flexible work arrangements? And, most importantly, are they actually worth it for companies and their employees?

All of these are valid questions. They’re also addressed by the opportunities flexible work arrangements bring about. The benefits of flexible work arrangements are numerous, encompassing productivity, social positives, space utilization, and, as the name implies, flexibility for agile companies.

What are flexible work arrangements?

Flexible work arrangements have a broad definition. In the physical sense, it’s anything that untethers workers from their desk and allows them to float freely in the office. You might work at a hot desk one day, occupy a window seat the next, and collaborate with a group in a conference room later in the week. Flexible working is all about having the option to work in a space conducive to your needs.

Beyond the physical, the concept of flexible working takes on its own definition. There are many intangibles that contribute to a flexible work situation, including being able to work from home or a coworking space. Other cornerstones of the flexible work mantra include working nontraditional hours or condensed workweeks and utilizing new tech to accomplish work in a different way (think cloud collaboration or digital presentations).

Flexible work arrangements—regardless of the variables involved—are a true embodiment of their name. To really understand why they’re such a boon for companies, let’s explore their benefits closely at each angle.

Focus on productivity

When you give workers the opportunity to work how, when and where they want, don’t be surprised when the work gets done!

The fact is, the traditional work environment isn’t conducive to everyone’s work habits. Someone people do their best work in solitary, quiet environments with few disruptions. Others work better in the very early morning and prefer to be done midday. Still more have hectic lives and may optimize their work around different times of the day. Affording every worker the opportunity to work in the way that suits them is the epitome of flexible work arrangements.

Productivity also hinges on the willingness of a worker to adapt to their work environment. When you turn this concept on its head and put the power into the hands of your workers, you’re putting the focus on productivity and the burden of that productivity on them. Responsible workers will embrace it and reward you for it in the caliber of the work they do.

Social environments improve culture

The office has always been a social place. And while we may no longer have water coolers to stand around, there’s more than a fair amount of socialization in the workplace. Embracing a flexible work environment means embracing the social aspect of your workplace’s culture.

When employees aren’t tied to their desks, they’re free to work wherever and with whomever they want. This unlocks powerful collaboration and camaraderie among your workers. Andy and Chris have a lot in common and are friends outside of work; allowing them to collaborate at work and bounce ideas off of each other will create an environment rife for productivity. The same is true for Leslie, Ann, and April, who are working together on a group project. Being able to control their work environment and schedule allows them to collaborate in a way that’s best for all of them, with a social element that makes work feel a little less like work.

When you give the power of flexible work arrangements to your staff, you encourage them to be social. Socialization creates workplace bonds, which improves morale, which all rolls into employee satisfaction and engagement.

Defying the constraints of space

Commercial real estate isn’t cheap. For many companies, it’s not until they reach the absolute breaking point that they choose to upgrade their lease to pay for more square footage. In the meantime, it’s a creative effort to make the most of the space you have. Flexible work arrangements offer an immediate, almost too-good-to-be-true solution.

In the physical sense, swapping out cumbersome desks and personal workspaces for flexible seating options can free up a substantial amount of square footage. This has the effect of giving everyone a little more personal space, reducing friction and improving comfort—alongside the many benefits inherent in flexible work situations.

More than just improving space utilization, flexible work arrangements can actually get people out of your office or, at the very least, stagger their use of it. Separating your 8am to 6pm workforce into two shifts will prevent overlap from so many bodies in one place at the same time. Moreover, remote workers and those occupying coworking spaces will further unburden your facilities.

Flexibility in any situation

Flexible work arrangements are aptly named. Remodeling your current space? Delegate remote workers for a few days. Need a group to collaborate, then pair off and work in teams? Make flexible workspaces available. When you free your office of the traditional seating arrangement and look beyond the usual schedule, you’ll find opportunities abound.

Making the shift to a flexible work arrangement has benefits for both workers and your business, spanning a range of angles. If you’re looking for a way to boost morale, increase workplace productivity, optimize your space, and create opportunities, flexible work arrangements are undoubtedly worth exploring.

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Workplace Thought Leadership

What Does Your Workplace Say About Your Company?

By Laura Woodard
Real Estate Executive (Ret.)
Google

They say a home tells you everything you need to know about a person. The same can—or, perhaps, should—be said of a company and its workplace.

As part of the interview process, many job seekers place a premium on company culture. We typically associate culture with less tangible elements: how people behave and their interactions with one another, a person or company’s mission and goals, etc. However, someone’s first impression of your business develops around structural design. In other words, your workplace influences opinions of your business.

First Impressions Count

By structural design, we mean tangible items that influence how people behave and communicate with one another, which also supports how missions come to fruition, and how individuals meet those goals. For example, respectful and friendly office communication cannot happen in a noisy, open office with zero space for quiet work and collaboration cannot happen without a system to locate and communicate with one’s colleagues. Similarly, if a law firm prides itself on discretion and service tailored to each client’s needs, spreading out teams among different sections or offices, or failing to reserve private conference rooms for client meetings, reflects poorly on this mission.

Company culture is where the physical workplace meets human goals and behavior (also read why workplace culture is important for success). Should you include in your job posts  “private, reservation-only conference rooms” or “real-time employee location tracking”? It’s not nearly as compelling as saying “flexible workspace accommodations” and “collaborative work environment supported by technology tailored to your needs”.

Give Your Company Culture a Reality Check

The tools supporting the culture are what allow companies to retain employees—and you have to be prepared to back up claims made in job descriptions. While employees may be encouraged by the language used in an ad, we live in the age of reviews. Job seekers may contact a company’s current or former employees to hear their personal experience and whether working there is as good as a job post makes it seem. The current workforce, especially Millennials and Gen Z, isn’t swayed by language alone. They need real-life accounts to inform their decisions.

Across generations, employees hold feedback and appreciation in the highest regard; therefore, implementing tools that encourage regular comments and acknowledgement is necessary. Some companies rely on gamification, which combines feedback and rewards by ranking employees or teams based on achievement of their goals, all while encouraging productivity. However, leaderboards—like an open office or remote-work—don’t work with every industry. A software company, for instance, may see gamification in the workplace as the most useful way to keep sales teams motivated and engaged. However, an architecture firm likely wouldn’t reap the same benefits.

Who Knows How Well Your Office Works Better Than Your Team?

It’s not just enough, or even appropriate, to make your office look good and enforce what you perceive as the company’s culture or employee needs. You need to assess whether particular design or technology elements touted by other successful businesses work for yours and, when possible, ask your teams to weigh in.

A study from the Workforce Institute @ Kronos shows that employees believe they are what defines workplace culture, or—at least part of it. Utilizing the same processes for benchmarking company goals and achievements, you can get feedback on how well your workplace connects to the desired culture and what, if anything, can be done to improve it. You might find your goal of a laid-back and hip office is actually hindered by noise, an inability to locate colleagues, and aggressive art and color choices.

You can’t assess company culture or how your workplace contributes to it without feedback. One starting point, as Ivana Taylor, a DIY marketing expert, suggests, is to list your company’s values. Define them, and then ask your team to define them as well. How do executives rank these values vs. entry-level employees? This exercise illuminates how the boots on the ground, so to speak, view the company as opposed to what executives think they see.

Small, structural elements can create drastic shifts in culture for the better. Using sensors to detect when printer ink is low may reduce stress for an employee who needs to print hundreds of documents in one sitting. Introducing elements from nature with biophilic design in quiet spaces and human resource offices can calm employees, allowing them to focus or feel at ease in an otherwise stressful situation. Adding shades to glass-walled conference rooms offers another layer of privacy while raising them ensures the company’s democratic, collaborative values are on display (literally or not).

A Little is A LotMake Changes That Count

Employee perks, such as flexible work hours, should be supported by the workplace. Say your business doesn’t enforce a strict 9 a.m.-to-5 p.m. schedule, but lights go off and cleaning crews show up at 6 p.m. Such timing discourages workers from arriving and staying later or breaking their day into blocks to balance work and life needs. Similarly, if employees are encouraged to work remotely and the office, as a result, doesn’t have a desk for everyone, you may not realize that remote-work is only being utilized because of the lack of desks. Employees may actually prefer to be in the office; implementing a hot-desking policy allows managers to see how many people want to work in the office vs. how many actually are.

Every aspect of the workplace serves a purpose, down to the flooring in the office. And it all affects how your company’s culture is shaped and perceived. Does your physical office align with the values or your organization?  Or does it subtly contradict those values? Understanding how your physical space dictates the tone of your business is critical to supporting—and retaining—a productive, happy workforce.

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Blog

What’s The Future of Remote Working?

By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
SpaceIQ

“I want to have a good job, but I also want to have a life.” This sentence sums up one of the most important statements of Millennial and Gen-Z workers. These are the fastest growing, most prevalent groups in the workforce today, which means it’s not a sentiment to take lightly. In fact, it can be argued that younger workers are dramatically changing the way we work, based on the current and projections on the future of remote working.

Today, more than ever before, people are working in places outside of the conventional office. Coworking spaces are a booming industry all their own, established corporate giants are adopting hot desk policies, and some companies exist entirely thanks to a telecommuting workforce. Going to a job, sitting at a desk for eight hours, and going home at the end of the day are no longer the undisputed norm.

Remote working isn’t a novel concept. It’s been around for as long as people have traveled for work. The recent rise of remote working is largely technology-driven, since collaboration via cloud systems is so prevalent. The future of remote work will be dictated by a younger generation of workers intent on working to live instead of living to work.

Today’s remote work trends

Many remote working trends we’re seeing today are due to the shifting concept of what a “workplace” is. For employees, it’s all about having a comfortable place to do their best work. The benefits of remote working for employers is all about keeping costs low and minimizing overhead—more workers in the field means less demand for office space.

The mutual benefits of remote work for employees and companies have spawned several trends. These developments provide valuable insight into where remote work is headed in the coming years:

  • Coworking spaces are on the rise and only growing bigger. Giants like WeWork and Ucommune (China) have recognized the incredible demand for flexible work environments. More than just a space dedicated to work, these areas are tailored for comfort and accommodation, offering everything from practical amenities like soundproof rooms, food and coffee, and inspirational themes. Coworking spaces are the ultimate independent office.
  • Travel working is primarily growing among Gen-Z employees. It simply involves working remotely while on an extended vacation. This approach to work is part of the “digital nomad” lifestyle trend, with younger workers choosing to embrace a world without anchors. Travel working allows remote employees to hold down a reputable job with a respectable company while traveling to several states or countries over an extended period.
  • Gigging is extremely prominent among younger workers and gives them the means to work multiple jobs without the constraints of traditional office hours. Example: A graphic designer is formally employed by a company, but works from home. They set their own schedule to get company-specific work done, but have time to freelance or take a part-time position. Gigging allows younger workers to forgo potentially higher-paying jobs with less freedom in order to secure several jobs without giving up their productive work arrangement.
  • Condensed weeks are slowly creeping into remote work schedules. After several successful trials among European companies, many remote employees are testing the concept of a shorter workweek on their own. Working four days a week for eight hours in an environment that allows for maximum production can yield the same output as a full week at a traditional desk job. Younger workers are using free time to live their best lives or, for motivated individuals, take on gigs or side projects.

Each of these trends is extremely telling not only in what the future holds for remote working but what’s driving the demand for telecommuting opportunities. As more workers demand flexible work arrangements, more companies are beginning to comply. The question then shifts from “Does remote working improve productivity?” to “How can we harness the productivity created by remote working opportunities?”

The future of remote working

So, based on these trends and the ongoing demand for remote working opportunities, where is remote work headed? The answer is more of the same in the near-term and likely a shift to how we work in the long run.

In the short-term, we’re likely to see an influx of remote work opportunities in 2019. Due to changing FASB/IASB accounting rules, companies with a traditional office space may see a weight shifted onto their balance sheets. This is incentive to downsize and experiment with remote workers, which will perpetuate many of the trends we’ve talked about.

Also coming down the pike are IPOs for coworking companies. The We Company (WeWork and others) will likely announce its IPO sometime in 2019 to the tune of a $47 billion valuation. It’s likely other companies will follow to remain competitive. All of this means massive bolstering within the coworking sector, which gives these companies incentive to draw in more remote workers.

Further into the future, the focus will shift to a 24-hour work cycle. Just as we have a 24-hour news cycle, globalized markets and the shift to flexible work arrangements will create a full-day work cycle. Night owls will work second and third shift, traditional workers will stay on first and second shifts. And, because everyone is able to work at preferred times, a company can reasonably expect some form of operation at all hours—without the cost of keeping a physical office open.

While no one knows exactly what the future has in store, it’s all but certain remote working will play a major role in how the workplace will evolve in the coming years. More than that, it’s certain to continue changing the way we work.

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Blog

The Ultimate Facility Manager Checklist

By Tamara Sheehan
Director of Business Management
SpaceIQ

The role of a facility manager is broad and encompasses no small scope of work. It’s no surprise that a facility manager checklist is often required to keep track of the various duties demanded by the workplace.

From managing utilities to coordinating personnel to data tracking and analysis for the purpose of decision-making, a broad facilities management checklist comes in handy. We’ve put together the ultimate checklist that highlights the extensive range of the workplace’s most ardent overseer. Check out the major job duties of a facility manager below:

  • Plan and coordinate all installations to ensure the workplace accommodates employees as they do their jobs.
    • Utilities (heat, electricity, etc.)
    • Amenities and appliances
    • Workstations (computers, phones, etc.)
    • Refurbishments
  • Manage the upkeep of equipment and supplies to meet workplace health and safety standards.
    • Inspect structures to determine the need for repairs or renovations
      • Weekly, monthly, semi-annually, and annually
    • Handle service contracts to ensure proper upkeep
    • Review security system function and management
    • Coordinate with facilities maintenance to resolve support tickets
  • Supervise all facilities staff and external contractors to ensure compliance with company policies and to coordinate in a transparent, accountable way.
    • On-site staff
    • Remote workers
    • Visiting partners
    • Custodians
    • Technicians
    • Groundskeepers
  • Control and oversee projects and accommodations within facilities.
    • Parking space allocation
    • Waste disposal
    • Building security
    • Move management
  • Allocate office space according to needs. Explore new desking layouts and space utilization strategies based on feedback from a CAFM or IWMS platform.
  • Keep financial and non-financial records of space- and workforce-related costs to better understand true overhead and inform future workplace decisions.
    • Total building capacity
    • Square footage of workspace
    • Space utilization
    • Utilization by space type
    • Peak utilization by space
    • Target ratio and actual ratio
    • Cost per head
  • Review utilities consumption and strive to minimize costs. Where applicable, managers should also manage and integrate automated utilities.
  • Provide workplace data to real estate planners for analysis and forecasting that informs broad business decisions, such as signing a new lease, moving the company, determining occupancy goals and more.

The specific demands of every facilities manager will go above and beyond what’s on this checklist, specific to their own unique job. The important takeaway here is that facilities managers need an encompassing understanding of the companies they manage and the employees who work there. Read next, how to select the right and best facility management software for your company.

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Blog

Five Signs You’re Outgrowing Your Workplace

By Nai Kanell
Director of Marketing
SpaceIQ

How do you know if you’re outgrowing your workplace? More than a cramped feeling, there are many indicators that signal it’s time for a change. Lack of space creates disruptions for employees and before long, they’ll start to hit you where it hurts: the bottom line.

Here are five signs you’re outgrowing your current setup and what to do next. Don’t worry, not every solution involves spending more on a larger office with more square footage.

There aren’t enough desks

If you’re growing your workforce over time, it can be hard to find places to put everyone. Nothing says this more than bringing on a new employee—only to realize there isn’t anywhere to put them.

While some companies order more desks and cram them into every available space, this isn’t the best approach. Paying out the nose for a larger office isn’t the solution either—unless you plan on continuing to expand.

The real solution is better use of the desks you have. Hot desks are a smart way to instantly repurpose space. Employees who work different shift cycles can use the same desks, which eases overcrowding. If growth continues even with hot desks, allowing remote work or using coworking spaces can both be cheaper alternatives to taking on a larger lease.

The conference room is constantly occupied

Nothing says you’ve outgrown your workplace like having a conference room that’s never available. Too many meetings, nomad employees, and lack of collaborative spaces will take away the value of meeting rooms at times when you need them most.

One solution is to create agile or activity-based workstations. Transform an office into a shared space for small groups or collaborative project teams. Those spaces can be used as temporary workstations on busy days.

Freeing up meeting rooms allows them to be used for their original purpose: meetings. Plus, you’ll likely reduce friction amongst employees battling for conference space.

Privacy is a thing of the past

Look at your office and ask yourself, “If I had to make a private call or have a one-on-one conversation, where could I do it?” If you can’t find a secluded area, chances are your employees can’t either. This is a problem.

If you lack private spaces for employees to meet, handle personal business, or even just get away, look for ways to convert existing offices or meeting rooms into private phone booths or work areas. The key is to offer closable doors, sound-proofing, and visual privacy.

If adapting existing footprint isn’t an option, allow for flexible work hours, remote work, or outsourced co-working space.

People are bumping into each other—literally

Does your workplace look more like a maze than an office? Wall-to-wall and back-to-back desks is a sure sign of growing pains. Space utilization may be awesome, but morale and productivity are likely suffering. People need their space.

Desk neighborhoods are a great compromise. Hot desking is another fix, if you’re willing to introduce flexible hours and remote working. Or, even consider different desk layouts in an open office format. Introduce organization to your workplace with clear walking paths, coordinated desk groups, and strategic partitions.

For as much harm as a cramped, disorganized desk layout causes, a well-arranged, well-managed layout has equal, opposite benefits. Keep in mind, employees need about 40 square feet to call their own. This number is flexible, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of productivity.

Productivity is plummeting

Speaking of productivity, if you notice a drop in yours it’s time to check your floor plan (read the best office layout for productivity). Cramming as many people as you can into the workplace will drag productivity down. Likewise, taking away personal spaces or taking away private work areas will do the same.

If options are limited or non-existent, it might be time for a move. Watch your numbers closely and ask yourself if a larger office is the answer.

If any of these issues resonated, don’t wait to act. The longer the delay in finding creative ways to increase workspace, the more constricted and confined employees become. If the time is right, make the move to a larger space to accommodate your growth now and for the future.

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Blog

Eight New Trends Shaping the Workplace

By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
SpaceIQ

Every year brings new office layout trends. A decade ago, the open office floor plan revolutionized what a workplace could be. Today, concepts like hot desking and agile spaces are turning the tables on what a productive workplace looks like.

With 2019 in full swing, it’s time to look at emerging workplace layout trends. Options are more diverse than ever, and perhaps even more intriguing is how the focus is on people more than the work that happens.

Here are eight workplace design trends for 2019:

  1. Big, welcoming atriums: Say goodbye to cramped waiting rooms and stuffy administration spaces. Big, open atriums give visitors and employees a great first impression. It’s all about welcoming people in a way that embraces them. Comfortable furniture, thoughtful décor, and bright, welcoming colors add to the good vibes.
  2. Experience-driven spaces: When workers can immerse themselves in what they’re doing, their work will reflect a whole new level of excellence. This is the idea behind experience-driven spaces. They’re engaging areas that get the creative juices flowing and channel positive energy into the task at hand. These spaces range from game rooms and rock-climbing walls to multimedia theaters.
  3. Cohabitation, co-working, and cohort spaces: Co-working has been gaining momentum for the past several years. To promote a more social, collaborative workplace environment—while also maximizing space—shared desks, offices, and communal areas are hot trends.
  4. Relaxation spaces: Nap rooms, meditation areas, and quiet spaces are must-haves in the workplace. Employees need places to recoup and take a break from the buzz of the workplace, if only for a few minutes. Bonus: Quiet spaces are good for employee wellbeing. They’re shown to improve mental health and mood, while lowering stress and tension.
  5. On-site eats: The break room used to be the hotspot where employees congregated for food and socializing. This year, full kitchens, cafés, and cafeterias are breaking out. They offer bigger perks to employees, such as freshly prepared food, diverse selections, and the convenience of in-house meal options.
  6. Discrete workspaces: There’s always been a push to maximize square footage in the workplace. Discrete workspaces are a result. A single desk tucked away in a corner serves as a great hot desk, while the unused media closet can transform into a meditation room. These examples and more are part of the trend to make use of all available square footage in a way that prevents overcrowding, friction, and drops in productivity.
  7. Social offices for team-building: Open office concepts aren’t new, but they’re still evolving. Case in point: The social office. Social offices are comprised of desk neighborhoods and desk clumps that give employees their own space, while concentrating on the group as a whole. This layout encourages open collaboration, without stripping employees of personal space. It’s a great option for companies with lots of square footage, but not a lot of diversity in that workspace. The best part is, it can be folded into other concepts as well, such as hot desking.
  8. Fitness and wellness: Front and center in the employee wellness and morale movement is emphasis on spaces for fitness. This is a broad basket of areas, ranging from meditation rooms and kitchens (as mentioned above) to on-site gyms or a couple of treadmills or stationary bikes. Dedicating a small part of your office for wellness reinforces the idea of a holistic workplace. Don’t have the space to dedicate to a gym or kitchen? No problem. Consider bringing in a massage therapist or acupuncturist once or twice a month.

If these trends are any sign of how the workplace is evolving (including modern workplace trends) , focus is beyond the physical space and on the people within it. Companies have finite square footage to work with, which means finite opportunities to make the best possible use of it. Dedicating space to fulfilling the wants and needs of employees is tantamount to making the best possible reinvestment in what you have.